How Much Does PCB Assembly Cost? 5 Tips to Reduce It

When assembling a printed circuit board, cost is one of the major considerations. To achieve a lower PCB assembly cost, it is important to understand all of the factors that affect the price and how they can be controlled. So, how do you ensure that you’re not using more money that is necessary to produce your PCBAs?

We’ll first see how much you’re likely to spend on your PCB assembly manufacturing project and then give you our best tips to help keep those costs down.

How Much Does a PCB Assembly Cost?

The PCB assembly cost, depending on various factors, will usually vary from $0.025 to $1.00 per square inch of the printed circuit board. The main factors that determine the cost, and that are used when calculating the overall amount are:

  • The printed circuit board design, which includes the number of layers, surface finishes, and overall complexity.
  • The size of the board
  • The quantity being ordered
  • The PCB assembly components to be used
  • The lead time
  • The assembly Instructions

The PCB assembly cost is also influenced by the following:

  • The in-house capabilities of the PCB assembly company
  • If using surface-mount or through hole assembly method

As you can see, many factors must be considered during manufacturing cost estimation for PCB assembly. But, just like any other manufactured product, this cost can be reduced to a level that will not break your budget.

Cheaper PCB assembly: optimized design
Cheaper PCB assembly: optimized design

5 Tips for Reducing PCB Assembly Cost

Now that you know how much a PCB assembly is likely to cost, here are our top tips for reducing that cost: Note that these tips are based on the assumption that you do not yet have a PCB assembly design ready and that changes to the initial plans are still possible.

1. Find a Low Cost PCB Assembly Company

There are many different PCB assembly service providers today, and each will have their own pricing structure. Be sure to shop around and compare the different companies to find one that offers a competitive price for their services, especially if you’re considering ordering your PCB assembly online.

Know what you want in the company or manufacturer. Look or a PCB assembly company that offers discounts for large projects, offers a lower minimum-order-quantity, or provides other value-added services that can offset the cost of assembly.

However, remember that the cheapest PCB assembly service may not mean a great deal if the quality of components and workmanship is poor. Make sure to also read reviews of any company you’re considering working with to get an idea of their reputation.

2. Use Automated PCB Assembly

Automated PCB assembly machines are more expensive than manual assembly, and may seem like a large upfront cost. However, they will save you money in the long run by reducing your assembly time and costs.

If your budget allows, using an automated PCB assembly process can save a significant amount of money on labor costs. This is because the machine can place and solder components much faster than a human operator.

Automated assembly will also help to improve the quality of the finished product by reducing the potential for human error, in addition to cutting down the PCB assembly cost. So while it may typically be more expensive up front, the savings on labor make it a worthwhile investment in the long run.

3. Optimize PCB Assembly Design

The design of the printed circuit board assembly can have a big impact on the overall cost of assembly. To save money, it’s important to optimize the design to make it as simple as possible while still meeting all of the required functions.

Consider using fewer layers if possible and designing for surface-mount components rather than a through-hole PCB assembly design. Reducing the number of holes vias on the board can also save money by reducing the amount of time needed for manual assembly.

Fewer holes will also mean that less material is used, which can lead to a lower cost. That’s because it all boils to the PCB assembly cost per component. To reduce the PCB assembly cost even further, it’s also important to use common component sizes that can be easily sourced at a low cost.

4. Increase the Order Quantity

One way to reduce the overall PCB assembly cost is to increase the order quantity. This is because most assembly companies charge a setup fee for each new order, so ordering more boards at once can help to reduce that cost.

Many PCB assembly companies offer discounts for larger orders, so you may be able to negotiate a lower price per board when ordering in larger quantities. Keep in mind that you’ll need to have the means to accommodate a larger order, so this may not be an option for everyone.

5. Use a Turnkey PCB Assembly Service

If you want the easiest and most cost-effective way to get your PCBs assembled, consider using a turnkey service. This type of service includes everything from sourcing components to final assembly and testing, so you don’t have to worry about managing the different steps of the process.

Turnkey PCB assembly manufacturing can be more expensive than working with a separate assembly company, but it can save you time and money in the long run by simplifying the overall process. Also, be sure to ask about any minimum order quantities that may be required.

Using these tips, you can save money on your next PCB assembly project; you only need to be mindful of a few important details to get started.


There are a number of ways to reduce your PCB assembly cost such as using low-cost services, increasing your order, optimizing your PCBA design, using automated manufacturing, and so on. Whichever method you choose, be sure it will not affect the quality and functionality of the circuit board.

Remember, your goal is to reduce your assembly cost without sacrificing the PCBA’s suitability for its application: and that means choosing the right method for your particular project.


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